So you want the best pubs to try local beers? The official taps are probably a good start!
The original Abbeydale tap is the Rising Sun at Nether Green near Fulwood on bus routes 83a or 120. This has recently seen huge investment in an extension and as well as offering a large range of beers including both Abbeydale and guests it offers a menu of good quality home cooked food. The Rising Sun is also home to Sunfest, their annual summer beer festival when the car park is closed off to make way for a series of tents, housing a bar serving a choice of over 100 beers plus cider, food and music.
Abbeydale also now operate the Devonshire Cat in the city centre serving great beer and food in a more contemporary building.
Blue Bee Brewery is owned by Reet Ale pubs, who operate a total of 5 pubs. The higher profile city centre pub is the Rutland Arms on Brown Street. There are six handpumps dispensing Blue Bee beers plus guests and interesting craft keg beers are also on the bar along with a real cider tap. Its an old street corner boozer with a classic tiled frontage and a suitably shabby look to the place, however it also has food prepared by a decent kitchen team – if you want something to soak the ale up try a Slutty Rutty Butty (chips, cheese, bacon, sauce) however if you want a nice meal the specials board often has dishes that would be at home in a fine dining restaurant – at pub prices. Look out for evidence displayed around the pub of the staff humour and take special note of the forbidden music board if you put money in the juke box.
Catch the 61 bus from Hillsborough Interchange towards High Bradfield and when you hit countryside you will come to the Nags Head in Loxley. This friendly and cosy pub is frequented both by local regulars and people visiting the area, with walks around the nearby reservoir always popular. The Nags Head offers a range of beers from Bradfield Brewery which is just up the road and food is served too, with the pub particularly known for its pies. It is also known for charging very reasonable prices!
The Three Tuns in Dronfield is an unofficial brewery tap, however Sarah and Dave who run the pub do have connections with the brewery, which is a community benefit company. The Tuns is a friendly place with a large range of real ales and ciders and all day food service featuring simple, good value home cooked pub grub with the Sunday dinners especially recommended – they are very popular though so booking is essential! Buses 43, 43a, 44 stop close by.
Emmanuales doesn’t have a brewery tap as such – they cuckoo brew at Sheffield Brewery however so the odd cask may turn up at their tap, the Gardeners Rest at Neepsend. The majority of their beers go into bottle, so try Beer Central in the Moor Market, Hop Hideout on Abbeydale Road, Archer Road Beer Stop at Millhouses or Beer Stop at Dronfield.
The Harlequin on Nursery Street, Bridgehouses, is the tap for Exit 33 craft brewery with guest beers also available. It also offers Sheffield’s biggest choice of ciders and features live music at the weekend. A simple (but well done) food menu is available.
Again, no official brewery tap although their beers do regularly appear locally. The best option however is to drink from the source – the brewery opens to the public every Friday evening with take outs available! The brewery is about 10 minutes walk from Halfway tram terminus or bus 71 passes outside.
You probably won’t have heard of this brewery unless you have stayed in the YHA Youth Hostel located between Hope and Castleton where it is based in an outbuilding. The manager is the brewer and he produces small batches on an as and when basis. The only place that serves the beer in the Youth Hotel itself – you will notice a refreshment counter joining the reception desk when you check in and that it has a handpump. The beer is available at selected events and in the dining room from time to time.
The Dronfield Arms in Dronfield, a few minutes walk from the station, is home to Hopjacker brewery which can be viewed through a glass section of floor near the bar area! The brewery is only about a year old but has already established a reputation for good beer and innovation, a recent example of the latter being a 6% rhubarb and custard beer!
Another brewery located in the Peak District’s Hope Valley, this one is at Brough near Bradwell. A range of regular beers include a Blonde, American Pale, Stout, Porter and Bitter with suitable adventure type names are brewed along with regular specials brewed that are either interpretations of world beer styles or collaborations with local organisations.
The local pub that regularly stocks their beer is the Anglers Rest in Bamford, a community owned pub that hosts not just a bar but a cafe and post office!
The Fat Cat in Kelham Island is next door to the brewery and is pretty much the pub that kicked off the real ale revolution in Sheffield – when it opened it was fairly unknown for a pub to offer a range of guest ales. It is a pub with an old fashioned layout, friendly atmosphere, cheap and simple home cooked food and a great beer garden.
A fairly new Sheffield brewery, run by the same people as the Doctors Orders near the University of Sheffield and the Fox & Duck in Broomhill, both student pubs that offer a range of Little Critters beers. The Doctors Orders also serves food and recently won a best student pub award at the Morning Advertiser Great British Pub awards.
A brewery that likes to experiment with all sorts of beer styles and ingredients with beers released in bottle, in cask and in keg. They don’t have a regular tap although there are regular bottle stockists, look out for them turning up on draft now and again in the various craft orientated bars.
Mitchells again doesn’t have a regular tap, however the brewery is attached to an off licence where you can buy their bottled beers. You will find it at Meadowhead shops (buses 24, 25, 43, 44, 75, X17). Their beers do however turn up on cask now and again at the New Barrack Tavern near Hillsborough.
The Wellington at Shalesmoor, located by the tram stop, has now reopened following refurbishment and under the new ownership of Neepsend Brewery. It is a classic two room drinkers pub.
North Union doesn’t normally produce cask beer, their quality craft beers are however available in bottles in most of the specialist beer shops around our area (such as Beer Central, Turners, Hop Hideout, Dronfield Beer Stop, Archer Road Beer Stop etc). They also turn up on keg now and again.
This is a nano brewery located in the owners kitchen! There is no regular tap house although the beers do turn up from time to time at the Broadfield, however look out for their 9-pin events advertised. They take place about three times a year at the Old Junior School on South View Road, Sharrow, featuring a pin each of 9 different interesting beers they have recently brewed.
This co-operative organisation has a small brewery that is used for special events including brewing courses and beer and food matching evenings, however a limited quantity is also brewed for bottles to sell. Look out for the events at Regather Works in Nether Edge advertised.
The Sentinel Brewhouse is more a brewery with a bar rather than a brewpub, however it is a great venue to go and drink fresh beer and grab a bite to eat to go with it. You’ll find it on Shoreham Street between BBC Radio Sheffield and the inner ring road (buses 1, 1a, 24, 25, 56 stop on the other side of the dual carriageway).
The Gardeners Rest at Neepsend is associated with Sheffield Brewery and offers a range of their beers plus interesting guests. The pub has three rooms – snug, lounge and conservatory plus a quirky riverside patio area. The Gardeners is also home to art, music and a bar billiards table. Oh and a mannequin. Bus 7 and 8 stops outside.
Stancill have two of their own pubs – the Horse & Jockey at Wadsley and the Norfolk Arms at Grenoside. Both are recently refurbished, showcase their beer range and are community orientated and have regular events. See their advert for more details.
Steel City is a part time cuckoo brewing operation consisting of Dave Szwejkowski turning up at Toolmakers Brewery and brewing something interesting at a frequency of approximately once every when he can be bothered. Most of his beers are the kind of hop monsters he enjoys drinking but chilli beers and other crazy experimental beers have also been produced and always to a high standard. Look out for his beers in the Forest and Shakespeare’s.
The Sheffield Tap bar on platform 1b of Sheffield railway station probably needs no introduction. Its the old first class refreshment rooms that stood empty and near derelict for a number of years before Pivovar restored them to the full ornate glory, opened it as a real ale and craft beer bar with its own in house brewery. There is always a range of their beers on the bar at the Tap, additionally there is usually a Tapped beer on the bar at the Hillsborough Hotel.
The Forest on Rutland Road near Neepsend is the dedicated tap owned by Toolmakers brewery, with the brewery located just around the corner. The brewery is in an old toolmakers workshop, hence the name, brewing a variety of beers named after the theme. The Forest pub is a traditional local with two rooms, friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices.
True North operate a whole chain of bars offering craft beer, food and more – in the city centre there is the Old House, Common Room and Forum, in Broomhill the York is theirs, they also run the Broadfield on Abbeydale Road, the British Oak in Mosborough and the Blue Stoops in Dronfield – amongst others. The brewery itself is in Sheffield city centre alongside Devonshire Green.